NEWPORT BEACH – Newport Harbor will host a 147-foot vessel in the turning basin located in the west end of Lido Isle, as part of a pilot study to help determine the possibility of establishing a permanent guest anchorage in the bay.
The Gran Finale, a 147-foot Delta, will begin its three-day stay in the harbor on May 23 with plans to leave on Sunday, May 25. This will be the harbor’s second time allowing a large vessel to anchor in the turning basin near Lido Marina Village
Providing temporary mooring space for large vessels is aligned with the Harbor Commission’s goal to “promote Newport Harbor as a preferred and welcoming destination for all to enjoy, including both large and small vessels.” The committee agreed to embark on a pilot project of the anchorage in 2013.
The city initially granted permission to the 216-foot superyacht, Invictus to temporarily moor in the harbor. Owned by Los Angeles developer Rick J. Caruso, the vessel stayed in the harbor without incident from Aug. 30 to Oct. 6.
At that time, several residents were not in support of allowing the vessel to stay in the harbor citing obstructed views and possible noise from patrons on the boat. However, no complaints were issued during the boat’s stay, or after its departure, said Chris Miller, Newport Beach Harbor Resources manager.
“I’m using this for our pilot project to see how this might work for a possible anchorage,” he said of granting a three-day stay to the Gran Finale.
Unlike Invictus, which dropped anchor at the bow and stern-tied to a buoy, the Gran Finale, will simply use a bow anchor, using as little rode as possible to minimize the radius.
“This will allow us to see how much space he is taking up,” Miller explained.
In October 2013, Harbor Commissioners asked Miller and his staff to evaluate the guest anchorage plan further and return to the commission with a proposed plan. Since then, Miller has met with Coast Guard officials to discuss if it would be feasible to establish the anchorage.
“They said conceptually it would be but to follow up with a formal application,” Miller said. “The next step is community outreach to help figure out the parameters, boundaries and use for this area.”
Although Miller was not anticipating the temporary stay request, he believes more superyacht owners will be calling his office.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if more and more boat owners called about this,” he said. “It’s aligned with the goal to make Newport a welcoming destination.”